Green Bay Area Public School students will head back into their classrooms Monday morning for the first time in nearly a year.
Teachers and other school staff have been busy preparing to welcome students back safely. That means adjusting nearly every school day process to adhere to CDC recommended safety protocols.
“We’ve looked at seating arrangements, we’ve looked at how they’re going to access their lockers how they’ll move to specials, how they move to the lunch room, how they’re going to play outside at recess…,” explained Chappell Elementary School Principal, Kris Worden.
Despite the tremendous amount of preparation work needed, Worden stays teachers can’t wait to see their students face-to-face again.
“We’re super excited,” Worden said. “Staff have been back, there’s laughter in the building. Kind of like what a building should feel like.”
Worden says even though they’ve been working with students online all year, the first day back to class Monday still has that first-day-of school excitement.
“For most teaching staff and people that work at schools, the most favorite day of the whole year is when kids are coming back, so we’re excited.” said Worden.
Worden also credits what students and families have accomplished over the past year for helping the school district get to this point.
“Our kids, we are so proud of them. Our families have worked so hard with them and they are learning, they’re definitely learning,” Worden explained. “We’re going to give them new skills to learn when they come back with us that will compliment what they’ve been doing virtually.”
Worden says they’ve already been doing online prep work with students for a while now.
She says practicing wearing masks and learning the new systems at school helps alleviate some of the uncertainty of what will be a brand new process for everyone.
“I think that students are the same as us, super excited, a little worried, a little afraid, just because none of us have ever experienced this before,” Worden said.
School officials say district-wide about 27% of students will remain virtual, rather than returning to in-person class this year.